Allow me to assume you have a Mac, or an iPhone, and perhaps an iPad. Or, all three. How do you backup each device? Do you backup any of them? I did a little impromptu yet totally scientific survey last night, and more than 90-percent of respondents have no backup plan for anything.
Two of the 12 family members, co-workers, friends, and neighbors I contacted use iCloud for iPhone and iPad, and have a cloned backup for the Mac. All three took my personal recommendations to heart.
Are there better ways to backup?
Yes. No. Maybe. It depends.
If you have no backup plan at all, then everything you have on Mac, iPhone, and iPad is in danger. All three can benefit from a simple and elegant backup plan. iCloud. No, this is not perfect and comes with a few flaws, but iCloud Backup is easy and affordable.
How do you know whether or not to have a backup plan?
If your Mac, iPhone, or iPad will not turn on– it’s dead– and you just lost all your photos, videos, files, and more, and you panic, then you need a backup plan.
Rene Ritchie created the Ultimate Mac Guide and here’s the basic math:
One copy of your data is no copies at all. That’s because hard drives and solid state drives (SSD) fail. They fail all the time. Two copies of your data is basically one copy, since there’s a chance both could fail at the same time.
Ritchie goes into all the details you need ti cover for both local and cloud backups, but you can keep it simple.
iCloud Backup is not Time Machine. The latter is Mac only, while the former covers almost all of Apple’s major devices; Mac, iPhone, and iPad. On the Mac, open Settings, iCloud Drive, and click On anything that looks valuable.
When your Mac dies, iCloud can restore everything but the apps. When iPhone or iPad dies, iCloud can restore almost everything, including the apps.
What about using iCloud and Dropbox, or Google Drive, or BackBlaze or Carbonite? Each one is different.
I use all three. iCloud automagically syncs and backups basic Mac files and lets me access them on iOS. Dropbox is where I store all my Mac document folders. Google Drive is what my company uses for documents.
Ritchie has plenty of non-nonsense backup strategies, but let me keep it simple for you.
First, iCloud Drive on the Mac and iCloud for iPhone and iPad. That covers Mac Documents files, and Photos. Done.
Second, a cloned Mac; an external disk drive with a clone of your Mac.
Third, an app like Arq or BackBlaze or Carbonite to get your Mac’s contents out of the house, off the streets, and parked somewhere safe online.